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Heat, humidity and O-bon


Well, it's sumer in Japan and the weather is hot and humid.  Everyday it's in the high 80's or 90's and the air is wet and heavy.  Time to take it easy or you'll perspire to death. Oh yes, it is the time to swelter and cook.  Better wear short pants and a t-shirt or you're gonna have heat stroke. But there are some good things about summer: I like hearing the cicadas in the trees singing their melancoly song. Do they know they'll only be here for a week or two? Isn't it great to drink an ice-cold beer or icy "chewpet" on such a hot day. Rainy days are fewer. The trains are less crowded because school children and college students are on break. The exciting high school baseball tournament is held at Koshi-en in Osaka and many Japanese are glued to their telvisions and radios. And O-bon is good because it's a "quiet time" in Tokyo. Many people leave this metropolis for summer vacation. O-bon is kind of equivelant to America's Thanksgiving in that people return to their home towns to be with their family. It is also like Halloween in that it is a time to contemplate ancestors and welcome back the ghosts of long dead relatives. However, no trick-or-treating. But it's one of my favorite times because the I know fall is just around the corner.  

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